How to Launch a Care Team + Free Download

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When faced with a caregiving situation, to say that most caregivers feel overwhelmed is an understatement.. In addition to the emotional impact of seeing a loved one in need, there is a need to develop an approach to provide the best care possible. In many cases people do not have the experience, time and resources to develop such an approach.

Like any other big project in our lives, having a plan is half the battle.

Several years ago, our family was in this exact position as we found ourselves creating a plan to care for our Nannie, who had been diagnosed with dementia. Overwhelmed and feeling totally ill-equipped to take on a responsibility of this magnitude, we started developing a plan that would meet the needs of everyone in the family while providing the best care possible.

Based on our experiences building CareZare and caring for our CareStar, Nannie, and research-based recommendations, we’ve developed five steps that can help guide you when faced with a caregiving situation.

Step 1: Identify your CareStar’s current challenges & issues

Concerns expressed by the CareStar

  • I have trouble walking up the stairs
  • I need a ride to my medical appointments

CareStar behaviors observed by others

  • Forgets where she left her keys
  • Gets lost while driving
  • Other known challenges
  • Known medical conditions
  • Upcoming surgery
  • Unexpected illness

Step 2: Gather and assess key health & financial information

Medical information

  • Doctor’s names, including phone numbers
  • Health insurance information including Medicare\Medicaid\Health
  • Insurance including policy numbers
  • Key contacts
  • Family and friends including phone numbers and/or email

Financials (Depending on situation)

  • Income Sources: Social Security, rental income, pension
  • Assets: House, property, bank, financial services
  • Obligations: Mortgage, rent and other obligations
  • Insurance
  • Homeowners, Rental, Auto, Life

Step 3: Create a Care Plan

  • What are the Goals/Objectives for the CareStar at this stage? Goals are the short-term outcomes, whereas objectives are the longer-term outcomes that we hope to achieve.
    • Goals
      • Keep her as happy & safe as possible
    • Objectives
      • Return to life as usual
      • Transition to modified lifestyle based on challenges
      • Identify and transition to alternative living arrangements
    • Identify what daily/weekly care and support your CareStar needs
      • Regular transportation
      • Meal planning
      • Personal and medical needs attended to
      • Social visits
    • Identify roles needed to provide that support. When planning for Nannie, we used a mix of professional caregivers and family members. Here’s how it worked for us:
      • Professional caregiver coverage
        • Transportation to appointments
        • Companion for daily walks, games and other activities
        • Cue to take meds
      • Family visits
        • Family time
        • Religious services
        • Medical appointments
      • Friend lunch dates
        • Suggest good topics of conversation
        • Reminding friends to call/confirm on day of event
      • Extended family/friend circle communication
        • Suggest good topics of conversation
        • Suggest better times of day to call

Step 4: Craft Your Care Team

  • Identify people/resources to fulfill roles
    • Make-up of team will differ by situation
      • Assisted Living
      • Short-Term Rehabilitation
      • Home Care
  • Example of role types
    • Professional caregivers
    • Family and friends (Core Team members)
    • Extended family and friends (Social dates and/or periodic calls)

Step 5: Launch the Team

  • Communicate the current care goal(s), relevant CareStar background and care approach to core care team members
  • Introduce the caregivers to your CareStar
  • Establish effective approach to care team coordination and collaboration.

In the future, we will expand on many of these topic areas to provide further insights and support as you work to develop and leverage your Care Team and provide the best care for your CareStar.

Are you ready to launch your Care Team?

Check out our free worksheet to help guide you through the process!